President Obama takes an oppositional stance on Proposition 8

By Bonnie Ping,

President Barack Obama’s view on gay marriage has changed throughout his years in office. Now he has moved past words into action. In an amicus brief recently submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court as they review California’s Proposition 8, Obama argued that states that allow for civil unions but restrict the right to marriage are unlawfully discriminating based on sexual orientation.

The Washington Post explained that Proposition 8, which restricts marriage to a man and a woman, and was initiated and ratified by voters in 2008, is currently under Supreme Court scrutiny. The President’s statement urges the Court to rule its unconstitutionality.

“The same evolution that I’ve gone through is an evolution that the country as a whole has gone through,” Obama said regarding his position on gay rights during a news conference at the White House. “And I think it is a profoundly positive thing.”

Time showed that much of the American public is mirroring Obama’s transformation of opinion. When the President began his first term he still stood in opposition to gay marriage, along with about 56 percent of the population. However, this year CBS news poll reported a majority in favor of same-sex marriage, at about 54 percent.

While Obama has voiced the opinion that if Proposition 8 is found to be unconstitutional, other laws of its kind should be put on the chopping block, the limited nature of his recommendations to the Supreme Court has aroused skepticism as to Obama’s true dedication to promoting gay rights. Time speculated that Obama is simply catering his argument to his audience, which includes both liberal and conservative judges.

The case will be argued before the court on March 26.



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